What I did right

Benjamin Bratt as Rey Curtis

Benjamin Bratt as Rey Curtis

I’ve been reading a series of blog posts at Lorelle on WordPress about fan blogs. Turns out I started SciFi Chicks for all the wrong reasons. But I do know how to do it right.  In the mid-90s I became infatuated with Benjamin Bratt. Here’s how the story goes:

In those days I enjoyed Law & Order (the original, which was the only one at the time).  And while not a huge Chris Noth/Mike Logan fan, I stopped watching when he left the show.  I’d seen this picture of the actor who was going to replace him, and while he was the most handsome guy I’d ever seen, I’d never heard of him, and the description of the character didn’t interest me.

Almost 2 years later Benjamin Bratt was featured in an article in TV Guide. This was the picture that accompanied the article.  It wasn’t a particularly attractive photo, but he sort of looked like a guy I had dated, so I read the article. This guy had lived the life I’d dreamed of! He grew up in San Francisco, majored in drama in college and played the saxophone in high school. (Ok, I didn’t know that last one until later.) I was hooked!

I started watching Law & Order again. At the time his résumé/filmography wasn’t that big and I began gathering videos of everything he’d done. I started a web page on Tripod using one of their templates. Within a few months, the site had grown to the point I wanted to do things that the template didn’t do. So one Saturday night I went to the mall, bought a book on HTML, and a monster was born.

The site grew and grew. I became somewhat of an expert on Benjamin Bratt. I received e-mails from high school chums, people who’d talked with him at the airport, saw him dining with Julia Roberts, people who thought I was Benjamin Bratt.  I made friends with other fans.  I also learned what it takes to design a web site, and I learned my strengths and weaknesses.

I kept the website up for several years, but it started to languish as we came into the new millennium. While I struggled to reignite my passion, the fanbase dwindled to only a few people. Finally, earlier this year I put the domain name up “for sale.” A young woman took it over and the site has flourished. I still see only the same few names in the discussions, but she’s doing such a wonderful job with it, I think it will grow, especially with the success and promotion of The Cleaner.

Tomorrow, or perhaps the next day, I’ll discuss what I’ve done wrong, and how I hope to fix it.


4 thoughts on “What I did right

  1. I certainly enjoyed visiting your site about Benjamin Bratt, and it was an honor to take it over. Honestly, I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

    I read the blog posts about fan blogs at Lorelle on Worpress, too. I agree upon most that was said there; actually, I think that much of it is just plain old good common sense. However, it also reminded me of the reason why I’ve long refrained from reading handbooks… because I feel like they make things sound more complicated than they really are. I think that many fan blog owners did the things listed in The Art of the Fan-Based Blog, or at least tried to, and the considerations stated crossed their minds, but I guess that there are fan blogs or sites that wouldn’t be there, if their owners had thought to hard about the recommendations in those articles, and I’m sure it would have been a loss for some.

    I don’t know how your SciFi Chicks site is doing, but does it really matter why you started it?

  2. Well, the only problem is that if you don’t have the passion, you won’t keep it up. I was reviewing two shows, and stopped reviewing both before they were finished.

  3. Ah, I completely agree that if you don’t have the passion, you’ll have a very hard time keeping it up. Running a fan blog/site is voluntary work and, therefore, it really must be something you enjoy doing; I don’t think you can keep it up just because you think you owe it to other fans or your co-workers on the blog/site.

  4. Pingback: I feel so accomplished! « Stream of Consciousness

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